Greer Taylor, gallery view of SPREAD
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SPREAD was installed in the Light Box Gallery, a small underground space, at [MARS] Gallery in Windsor.

exhibition statement:

SPREAD uses and accentuates the underground quality of the tiny gallery, narrowing the entrance, installing curved walls within the enclosed space lit only by a single light source.

SPREAD acknowledge the underground connection that any stick carries in its form: nutrients held within the soil are sucked up through the roots of a tree assembling to create the cells that build a tree… and each of its sticks.

The exhibition takes its name from the work: spread. spread is a ‘fall’ made from hundreds of ‘y’-shaped sticks tied together with fine wire. A filigree of connections spreads across a single curved plane like the interconnected blanket of nature spreading across the surface of the planet. And like nature, spread is vulnerable if damage – if any part is broken the whole is weakened and likely to fall apart. The dark mirror at the base of the fall creates in a deep virtual hole, penetrating the gallery floor.

see artwork details in image captions

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About 2 years before this exhibition I had began collecting and binding fallen river red gum sticks from a dry creek bed in the Flinders Ranges. To brings out a bone-like quality in the sticks,  each stick was bound with crepe paper: this simple material has a bandage-like quality, manifesting a sense of wounded-ness and delicacy in each stick, revealing an overlooked preciousness. The act of binding, of touching ever single surface of each stick, close to the place in which they were found is an honouring of these beautiful yet overlooked drawings grown by a tree. I returned to the Flinders ranges earlier this year to collect and bind enough sticks to produce this version of tree bones. The tree bones are mounted on the dark surface of 2 curved walls, like ghostly bones revealed in an archaeological excavation.

stick bone-5 and stick bone-λ* have been double bound in white crepe paper, mounted on black velvet and framed in deep box frames to further acknowledge and elevate the preciousness of sticks. In their contained box they carry a sense of silence and isolation that recognises their disconnect from their ‘mothership’ — the tree on which they had grown.

The binding for all the ‘tree bones’ has been done in a way that honours and reveal the nodes and connection that had existed when the stick was a living entity, connected to a tree.

The collaborative sound work, stick voices, produced by sound engineer Brent Williams seemingly gives voice to the sticks in the exhibition space —  generating  a sense that the sticks are having a conversation. All the sounds in this work were produced by tapping, scraping or rubbing sticks.

*λ is the Greek letter Lambda

SPREAD exhibition dates were: 12 November — 19 December  2015